Full-Strength Vinegar, Double Strength Vinegar and White Vinegar…What’s the Diff?


You all know I love vinegar, right?

I actually made a whole video on it’s awesomeness not too long ago – and a wicked post to go along with it, it is life changing (OK, dramatic, but I think you get it).

Vinegar has a million cleaning uses – which is great, because vinegar also tastes most excellent when paired with olive oil on my salad – and how many cleaning products can say that?

But did you know that there’s such a thing as ‘super vinegar’ – which up to double (depending on acetic acid content) the cleaning power when compared to regular vinegar?

So what is ‘super vinegar’?

Well, without getting into the geeky minutia,  full strength vinegar contains 6% acetic acid, and  double strength vinegar contains 10% acetic acid.  Regular ‘white’ vinegar only contains 5% acetic acid, and that’s the stuff responsible for the cleaning aspect of vinegar.  So in this case,  more is indeed better.  So where did this ‘super vinegar’ name come from?  Well, I just made it up to make my distinction between vinegars easier as opposed to having to get into percentages each time.  All you need to know is, if you can get a higher acetic acid content, your vinegar is going to work even harder for you.

How is it used?

You can use it exactly like regular vinegar, with a little protection (which we’ll cover shortly) but it performs like vinegar on steroids.  Because of the higher acid content, it speeds up performance and is more powerful at busting through tough cleaning jobs.  Vinegar is already amazing at cutting grease, mineral deposits and soap scum so this means it works a lot faster and requires less scrub time on your part.  Specifically, you can use it to remove It works faster on mineral deposits, on waxy, hazy build-up on floors like laminate and hardwood (especially if you’ve used some type of oil soap – just test in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t strip any finish off the floor and remember to use it very diluted i.e. 1:30), it does a better job with dirty linoleum floors and grungy grease in the kitchen . It’s great for busting-through soap scum and hard water deposits in the bathroom (even pesky glass shower doors) and is a great alternative to harsh toilet cleaners.  Pretty much anything you can clean with vinegar you clean with super vinegar.

Pretty impressive huh? The only problem I discovered is that it is hard to find in some areas of North America, and I have no idea about its availability in other parts of the world, knowing that even white vinegar can be hard to come by.  Some of my friends in the US have told me that it is available at Wal Mart – but, up here in the great white north I had to travel to a Bulk Barn to find the full-strength variety and to  Home Hardware for my double strength bottle.  I don’t know why it isn’t more common, but if you DO see some of this stuff, it’s a great purchase, and actually costs about the same as regular vinegar, so stock up.

Tips for usage

#1 – Don’t eat it

It’s designed for cleaning and other heavy duty tasks, so if you want vinegar on your salad, use regular vinegar instead.

#2 – Wear gloves

The acid won’t eat your skin but it can dry your hands out, so consider wearing rubber gloves to be safe.

#3 Mask the smell

It does smell a little stronger than 5% vinegar, so here’s a cool tip for those of you who don’t like the smell of vinegar.  Add the vinegar to a spray bottle, dilute it with water if you wish.  Then, add about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil which will mask the vinegar-y smell..but remember, the vinegar smell only lasts a short time!

So now it’s your turn!  Have you ever seen this stuff? Have you used it? Did it work well? Do you have any tips? Leave us a comment down below because we’d love to hear from you!

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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of CleanMySpace.com, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!